There is no shortage of daily fantasy sports (DFS) and online sports betting platforms these days, and DraftKings has been one of the most popular options for years. However, many players are going for lesser-known options like Underdog Fantasy. So, what is the difference between DraftKings and Underdog Fantasy, and which is better?
DraftKings is a well-established fantasy sports platform that’s been operating for more than 9 years. It is legal in most states and offers excellent bonuses. Underdog Fantasy launched 8 years later so it doesn’t yet have the same support or perks as DraftKings, but its approach is fresh and modern.
Underdog Fantasy is a much younger platform than DraftKings, so there will be many differences and similarities. Let’s discuss these in more detail so you can see what both offer and if you would prefer DraftKings or Underdog Fantasy.
DraftKings Vs. Underdog Fantasy: The Background
DraftKings’ Origin And Offering
DraftKings launched in 2012 in Boston, making it one of the oldest surviving (and most well-known) daily fantasy sports and online sports betting platforms. It offers both services as separate apps and on its website, with more than 7 million paid users playing on its platforms.
Currently, the company employs more than 3,000 people in six different countries. It is a well-established platform that has garnered trust and a good market reputation.
Underdog Fantasy’s Launch And Service
Underdog Fantasy launched in 2020, making it eight years younger than DraftKings. It also launched initially as just a DFS platform, but the goal is to also add a sportsbook service in due course.
Though its young age may deter many from the platform, it was founded by Jeremy Levine, a veteran at building successful DFS and sportsbook startups. There are also some significant investors behind the company, and they have a vision that could change the world of DFS and sports betting forever.
Main Differences Between Underdog Fantasy and DraftKings
Though both platforms now offer similar services, they differ in how they offer them. DraftKings and Underdog Fantasy have entirely different approaches and focus points, giving Underdog a niche that might steal some players away from DraftKings.
DraftKings is a traditional DFS and online sports betting system. Because it’s one of the oldest, it uses the trusted formula that others like FanDuel use.
You have two apps, one for sports betting and another for daily fantasy sports. The sportsbook app has current sporting events from 20 different categories available to bet on with fair odds. DraftKings offers some of the best odds in the industry. It also provides frequent bonuses and loyalty rewards for regular users. New members also get a bonus worth up to $1,000 when they join.
All of this makes DraftKings a typical, traditional sportsbook and DFS platform. There’s nothing wrong with that since a proven system brings reliability to the table. It also makes it easy for users from other platforms to join DraftKings and understand how it works. As such, it caters to a vast audience of users who will all understand the system and approach.
Underdog Fantasy’s Approach
Underdog Fantasy tries to do things differently and caters to a particular niche rather than trying to offer something for everyone. For example, Underdog focuses almost exclusively on the snake draft format and best ball tournaments. Users can also wager on player props in a Pick’em-based form.
These facts make Underdog Fantasy ideal for people who don’t like daily salary cap contests or don’t have the time to manage their lineups every week but still want to participate in season-long fantasy sports. Even though Underdog isn’t trying to please everyone, it’s giving plenty of people exactly what they need, carving itself a solid niche in the marketplace.
Regarding the eventual launch of Underdog’s sportsbook, Levine plans to make it as unique as the DFS platform, referring to it as “not your grandpa’s sportsbook.” The company is talking about eventual live streams of events through augmented reality and virtual reality platforms, among other things. This seems like a bit of a gamble (pun intended), but it will appeal to some users.
Because Underdog does not yet have a sports betting platform, we will focus on the differences between it and DraftKings’ DFS offering.
DraftKings Vs. Underdog Fantasy: Where Are They Available?
Underdog Fantasy is only available in the United States and, depending on what you’re playing, only in certain states.
Fantasy Draft contests are legal in 40 states, all except:
- Ontario (Canada)
Pick’Em contests are even more limited, being legal in only 30 states, all except:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- Ontario (Canada)
- West Virginia
Compared to that, DraftKings has far wider availability. You can play in the following countries:
- Most of the United States (more on that in a moment)
- Canada (except for Ontario)
- The United Kingdom
Within the United States, DraftKings is available in all states except these seven:
- Certain parts of Louisiana (which DraftKings calls the “Excluded Regions”)
We can see that DraftKings is far less limited than Underdog, so for someone who wants to get into daily fantasy sports competitions, it will probably be easier to start with DraftKings as there’s a smaller chance of you living in a restricted area.
However, it’s worth noting that DraftKings’ massive availability is primarily thanks to its age. Over the years, DraftKings has proven itself and found more and more states willing to allow it. The company also formed partnerships with companies in different countries and developed country-specific apps to enable their presence there.
Underdog may do the same over time, but it’s still a young platform, so we must give it time. For now, though, DraftKings wins regarding the number of supported territories.
DraftKings Vs. Underdog Fantasy: Bonuses And Rewards
Underdog Fantasy does not offer a bonus for joining; the only way to get that is through a promo code, which will usually give you a $100 bonus.
However, Underdog rewards its players for referring others to the platform. For every person who joins from your referral, you will receive a $10 bonus, and the friend who joined gets the same in the form of a free entry.
Apart from referral bonuses and promo codes, Underdog often has daily rewards and bonuses. These can be random and may require you to do a particular thing for that day in order to qualify for the reward or bonus.
DraftKings is often considered the king of bonuses. It has multiple daily promotions, offering random rewards when you do certain things on the platform. Most of these relate to the sportsbook service, though. So what can you get from the DraftKings DFS platform?
DraftKings DFS offers the following:
- A new-user first-deposit bonus of 20%, up to a maximum of $500. If you deposit $2,500 or more as your first deposit as a new user, you will get a $500 bonus. Anything less than $2,500 will only get you a bonus of 20% of that amount
- A free $3 ticket to play in one of the $3 contests
- A $20 referral bonus when you refer a new user who deposits at least $20
- Many daily rewards and achievements that change regularly
- Game-specific rewards that also depend on the game and the promotions that are running at the time
DraftKings has perfected its reward system to the point where few competitors can match it. Others may offer more significant rewards, but DraftKings provides more opportunities to earn them. With this in mind, there’s no way for a newcomer like Underdog to adequately compete with those rewards, though it is off to an excellent start and will likely only get better over time.
Games Available on DraftKings Vs. Underdog Fantasy
Underdog Fantasy has a good selection of sports and games available to choose from. It has a strong preference for NFL, which was also what it started with, and will likely be its first sportsbook offering when it launches. But the complete list of Underdog Fantasy’s sports includes:
Best Ball competitions are only available for NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL, and Daily Snake Drafts are limited to only NFL, NBA, and NHL. Still, that’s an impressive selection of 11 sports.
DraftKings, on the other hand, has a more extensive list of 20 sports:
- NCAA Basketball
- NCAA Football
- PGA Golf
- MMA (UFC)
- Premier League (EPL)
- Water Polo
- Aussie Rules
Once again, DraftKings’ age has led to it offering a more comprehensive list of sports to offer its players, though Underdog Fantasy is sure to catch up soon.
App Reviews: Underdog Fantasy Vs. DraftKings
Apps and interfaces are essential to improve the gaming experience. If people don’t enjoy the experience on the app, they are less likely to return to it. Here’s what users think about the apps.
DraftKings Fantasy Sports has a 4.9-star rating from almost 491,000 users on the Apple App Store and 4.7 stars from ±131,000 users on the Google Play Store.
The app has good reviews, but users have a few complaints about it, primarily:
- The color scheme isn’t to everyone’s liking. It has a combination of green and dark grey/black, which fits with DraftKings’ branding, but doesn’t always make the app pleasant to look at.
- The app feels a bit cluttered, making it challenging to navigate to what you’re trying to find.
- People find the interface unintuitive, especially for new users. It’s almost as if the app grew with the service offering, and new features were just crammed in instead of doing an overhaul to let it make more sense.
- Some Android users complain that the app hasn’t worked on their devices for a few updates.
- The app doesn’t show as much information as other platforms. You can only view two sets of results side-by-side, while others show three results at a time and the ones that DraftKings displays aren’t as relevant to the user as others.
It’s worth mentioning that most of these complaints come from Android users. However, there are occasional similar statements from iOS users, and the rating difference between the two platforms also shows this.
Underdog Fantasy Sports App
Underdog Fantasy Sports has a 4.7-star rating from 8,400 users on the Apple App Store and 4.5 stars from ±2,800 users on the Google Play Store. We can see a considerable difference between the user numbers on the two fantasy sports platforms, mainly because of the age difference between Underdog Fantasy and DraftKings.
Underdog Fantasy’s app receives primarily excellent reviews, and users have the following to say about it:
- Users love the interface. It’s intuitive, easy to use, and clean. Newcomers don’t have to struggle to find out how things work.
- The app closes completely when you switch to another app, mainly on Android but sometimes on iPhone, making it challenging to do your research and input your picks on the same device. You often have to restart your selection each time you switch to another app.
- It doesn’t show as much information as people would like. For example, you can’t quickly see a player’s stats just from the info screen; you have to navigate away to see them.
- Password reset options seem to be slightly buggy. Some users don’t receive their reset confirmation emails when they request them from within the app, which can lead to them being locked out entirely.
- People love that Underdog Fantasy is still so new that it’s not as crowded with professional players as other platforms like DraftKings. It gives new players more opportunities to find their feet and develop their skills to stand a chance against more experienced players on other platforms.
The Verdict: DraftKings Or Underdog Fantasy?
Even though the platforms offer the same service, they do it in such unique ways that it’s nearly impossible to choose a clear winner. DraftKings has the benefit of almost a decade of experience, broader support, more sports, and more significant benefits.
But on the other hand, Underdog Fantasy has a cleaner interface, more accessible play, and the promise of an entirely different approach to the industry, which appeals primarily to new and younger players.
For new players, we recommend playing Underdog Fantasy. It’s easier to use, and you’re not playing against expert players to start.
If you are a seasoned player who wants many options to choose from and can hold your own against the best DFS players out there, DraftKings is the best option for you. But if you’re new to DFS and want to try it out to see what all the hype is about, it’s worth it to give Underdog Fantasy a try. The platform has a lot going for it, and everyone expects great things in the future.